Portland Police issued a press release Thursday warning of a pair of incidents this week where it appeared someone was trying to lure school-aged children into their vehicles.
According to police, the first incident occurred on Monday morning, when a 10-year-old boy walking on Congress Street towards the Reiche School was approached by a black male in his 20s or 30s and offered a ride.
Police say the boy responded “no” and the man drove away in either a light blue or white sedan.
The second incident occurred on Wednesday, when a 17-year-old student was walking home from the Waynflete School on Spring Street was approached by an older white male with a “scruffy beard, red coat and winter beanie hat.”
“The driver of the Honda minivan insinuated that he could give the boy a ride, but the student continued into his nearby driveway and into his home,” police stated Thursday.
Portland Police is encouraging parents to remind their children to never take rides from strangers, or even people they know, without parental permission.
“If someone calls out to you, approaches you, or makes you feel uncomfortable, quickly get to the nearest adult you trust and tell them what happened,” police wrote.
“It is also recommended that you walk with at least one friend, two or three is even better,” they added. “If a stranger follows you on foot, get away from him or her as quickly as you can. You can run and yell loudly, ‘HELP!’ If a stranger follows you in a car, turn around and go the other direction.”